Government Purchase Card
CW4 Leslie Carroll
"Congratulations, you have been chosen to be our Government Purchase Card (GPC) holder for the unit." If these words strike fear and dread into your very soul, you are not alone. Everyone has heard or knows of someone who abused their privileges as a government credit card holder. Making matters worse is the lack of strictly written guidance on what a credit card holder can and cannot do. Rules are different from installation to installation. There are however, some definite GPC rules and ethics involved, no matter where you are stationed. Definitions
There are two individuals involved with each and every purchase. They are the Cardholder and the Approving Official.
The Cardholder is the individual to whom a card is issued. The card bears this individuals name and may only be used by this individual to pay for authorized US Government purchases. All purchases, which the card will pay for, must comply with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), agency regulations and established procedures. Each cardholder will reconcile his monthly statement and forward the reconciled statement through his Approving Official.
The Approving Official is the cardholders immediate supervisor or a higher-level official. The approving authority approves and verifies each purchase made by the cardholder. Therefore, a cardholder cannot be his own approving official. That would remove an important "check and balance" of the system. A cardholder may not be an approving official for his supervisor for ethical reasons. The Approving Official is responsible for, at a minimum, reviewing his cardholders monthly statement of account and verifying all transactions as necessary government purchases or services according to the FAR and agency regulations.
The Cardholders responsibilities include:
Approving Officials Responsibilities
Establishing an Account
Cards will be mailed to the DOC upon receipt of the accounts set-up information. Cardholders will be notified and the individual listed on the account will sign for the GPC card. Also, the appropriate PBO will be notified by the DOC when approval is granted for the cardholder to procure nonexpendable/accountable items with credit cards.
A Form of Local Purchase
Splitting of Purchases
Individuals and units do get in trouble using the GPC. Most of these problems are due to oversights or ignorance. Hopefully, the explanations and rules outlined here will keep us from going through the GPC purchase process blindly and allow us to use the card to its full advantage to support our units.